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EMERGENCY surgery units and maternity wards will face closure under new Tory plans for the NHS, health professionals warned yesterday.
Launching a blueprint for the future of the health service at a Birmingham GPs’ surgery, Prime Minister David Cameron claimed that Britain would “become the first country in the world to deliver a truly seven-day NHS.”
The privileged PM told his audience that he planned faster access to new drugs and treatments — but professional associations warned that it would amount to an attack on staff terms and conditions.
“The founding values of the NHS are my values,” Mr Cameron smarmed.
“The NHS will always be free for everyone under a Conservative government.”
But British Medical Association chair Dr Mark Porter accused Mr Cameron of “empty headline-grabbing.”
Research charity the Nuffield Trust said that the “significant changes” required to implement Mr Cameron’s proposals could require the closure of specialist service sections.
And nurses hit the roof, with Royal College of Nursing chief executive Peter Carter issuing a “really strong warning” to ministers and threatening “industrial action” in an interview with the Independent.
“Any attacks on unsocial hours, weekend working payments, would be strongly resisted,” he said.
“The membership is quite clear: unsocial hours, weekend working, Christmas Day and bank holidays — they get a very modest higher level of remuneration.
Labour shadow health secretary Andy Burnham said the plans should be taken with a large pinch of salt.
“In 2010, the Conservatives promised seven-day GP opening but failed to deliver it,” he said.
“David Cameron must produce a credible and funded plan to stop things getting worse before people will believe his promises of improvements.”
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